An Invitation to Read Through Romans – Day 1

icy trees car

Ice covers everything this morning.  The trees are sparking in their new outfit.  And while it looks beautiful, I noticed that the ice-covered trees are struggling.  They are overburdened… heavy-laden… and some branches even broke under the heaviness of the ice much like we feel when we are yoked with worry, fear and sin.  Let’s allow the ice-covered trees to remind us to get back under the yoke of Jesus because His yoke is easy and light and He wants to ease, relieve and refresh our souls (Matthew 11:28-30).

An Invitation

It’s so important to be in a relationship with our Father God.  God wants to be our husband rather than a stranger or an acquaintance.  Reading our Bible each day and memorizing scripture helps us KNOW God intimately.  The Bible teaches us about who God really is and memorizing scripture allows us to defeat Satan’s lies with God’s truth.  So, I would like to invite you to read through the book of Romans with me for the next 28 days.

Martin Luther shares his thoughts about the importance of Romans:

This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.

Don’t worry!  I’m not asking you to memorize Romans word for word!  However, if a verse really resonates with you, jot it down on a notecard and review it each day.  Writing God’s word on our hearts helps us not sin against him (Psalm 119:11).

Today’s reading is Romans 1:1-17.

Here are a few questions for you to consider.

  1. What jumped out at you after reading these verses?
  2. Is Paul wearing the yoke of Jesus or the yoke of sin (verse 1)?  How do you know?
  3. Read verse 5.  Do you believe and obey God?  Why or why not?
  4. What did you learn from Romans 1:16-17?
  5. How can you apply something you learned from these verses this week?

I can’t wait for you to encounter God as you spend time in His Word!  He adores you and takes great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17)!


Do you struggle with control?  Letting go?  Worry?  Me too!  Surrender isn’t easy, is it?   Trusting the Lord with all your heart and leaning not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) can be tough.  I have to confess, I am a woman of little faith.  My faith can waiver moment by moment.  But there is good news!  God loves me anyway… and He loves you too.  God tells us He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Exodus 34:6).  He loves us in the midst of our messes and our doubt.  Do I hear a sigh of relief?

This blog is a snapshot of my reality of being a Jesus follower, wife, and mom.  It’s about noticing God’s fingerprints in the midst of the daily grind.  Sometimes His fingerprints are followed by tears of joy as I sit in awe of His incredible love for me.  Other times, those fingerprints lead to tears of conviction.  But no matter what I do, and no matter what you do, God’s love is constant, unconditional, and always available.  I’d love for you to join me on this journey called life.

10 Facts About Me

  1. I’m a wife and mom of two boys.
  2. God uses my boys to remind me of spiritual truths.
  3. I’m a Jesus follower and my favorite Bible verses are Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 
  4. I’m afraid of dogs… especially loose ones.  Find out more here.
  5. The first time I went mountain biking, I thought the bike paths were paved.  Can you say city girl?
  6. I love to journal.
  7. My favorite pens are uniball-vision elite.  Why?  Because of the cushy grip.
  8. I’m learning to defeat Satan’s lies with God’s truth by using my sword of the spirit.
  9. I’ve been known to use my uniball-vision elite to demonstrate how to use the sword of the spirit. Imagine a female Zorro swishing the sword to defeat Satan’s lies.  You should try it!
  10. My favorite CD is Jason Gray’s a way to see in the dark.  Need a surrender soundtrack?  This one can’t be beat!


Snider 2010-6.2



open door

Tears were streaming down my face. It’s not often that this parenting journey leads to a broken heart, but today was that day. My son, from the confines of his room, yells down, “I’m sorry , Mommy!”  I call back, “I forgive you.”  But my heart still aches. And I begin to think about how God must feel when I rebel, when I purposefully disobey, when I choose my will over His. It pierces my soul. I do the same thing to God that my son did to me.

The discipline resulted from a series of small decisions made by my son… decisions to disobey my instructions over and over again while shopping. It became flat out rebellion and as the consequences escalated, his behavior remained the same.  It was his will, not mommy’s will. Trying to contain my frustration and wanting to speak life after being convicted about this earlier in the week, I decided to pray continually and ask God for His divine wisdom. And the consequence that popped into my head was extreme. I did NOT want my son to experience this consequence because I knew how hard it would be on both of us.

With a sad heart, I explained the consequence to my son. There were no more second chances. If he disobeyed one more time, this consequence would come into play. I asked if he understood. He said yes. Two minutes after we had this discussion, he disobeyed again. The consequence was given. Anger erupted in my son, which triggered another series of poor decisions. My heart was breaking. Parenting is tough.

When we arrived home, his broken heart was apparent. But there was no repentance in him yet. He was angry and in a final act of defiance, he chose to lock me out of the house as I gathered my things from the car. I attempted to open the door, discovered it was locked, and began to cry. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. My heart was already hurting because I knew the consequence was a tough one for my son to swallow, and the fact that he would lock me out when I love him so much and was hurting with him… it was too much for his momma’s fragile heart. I demanded he unlock the door. He quickly obeyed. I sent him to his room and cried as I processed the events of the past hour.

What did I realize?  That I couldn’t control my son.  I desperately wanted him to obey my instructions so he would NOT receive consequences.  But no matter how much I WANTED him to obey, I couldn’t FORCE him to obey.  He got to choose his response.  And he received the consequence for choice.  Isn’t it so hard to watch someone you love make poor decisions when you long for them to receive the blessing that comes from obedience?

Have you ever considered that God might experience these same feelings?  Think about how His heart breaks when we choose to disobey because He knows we won’t like the consequences.  Consider the sorrow He feels as we experience the result of our disobedience.  Ponder how He desperately wants us to obey, however, He lets us make our own decisions.

Can you imagine the pain that God feels when we lock Him out of our lives because we are mad or hurt or angry about our consequences… consequences that we chose when we decided to disobey?  How much do you think it pierces God’s heart as He watches us hurt?

And then the conviction came… how many times have I locked God out?  How many times do I run away from His plans like Jonah did?  Or make excuses like Moses, because who am I to do what God’s asking me to do?  Ouch!  My son’s actions today led to momma being convicted.  Repentance is needed all around in the Snider  house.  And so I’m clinging to this verse today:

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

God forgives me completely when I humble myself and admit that I messed up… and God forgives you completely too when you humbly come before His throne and confess your mess.  God doesn’t expect perfection, but He does want us to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14:

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 

This grace of God… how He forgives me when I don’t deserve it… it blows my mind!  No wonder John penned 1 John 3:1!

1 John 3:1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 

Are you willing to repent when God convicts you?  Have you locked God out because you’re mad about the consequences you’ve received?  Are you ready to unlock the door, just like my son did, so the One who loves you so much can come in?  Do you believe that Jesus loves you… so much that He died on the cross and rose from the dead, all because He wants you to spend eternity in heaven with Him?  Let this song, Come Away with Me by Jesus Culture, wash over you.  Accept the invitation to open up your heart and let Jesus in.  You won’t regret it.



Be The Light


“Mommy, why is the light so bright?” My four year old son asked this question as he walked into the bathroom right after he woke up.  His squinty eyes worked hard to block the brightness.  It was too much after sleeping in his dark bedroom all night.  I explained that it takes a few minutes for our eyes to adjust to the light.  And within a minute or two, his eyes were ready to welcome the light and all the good that comes from it.

Now let’s contrast this conversation with what happened when my four year old son turned off the light right before bed the next evening.  His room transitioned from brightly lit to completely dark with the flip of a switch.  And he did not like the darkness this time.  He couldn’t see the way to his bed, and that can be dangerous when a stray toy might be in his path.  So he decided to solve this dilemma by carefully walking to his closet and pulling out his biggest glow in the dark star.  He stuck it to the wall and was satisfied with the little bit of light it offered.  And then, he was ready for bed.

Have you ever considered how our spiritual walk can model my son’s experience with light?  When we first hear the truth, it can catch us off guard.  God might gently convict us while reading the Bible or through a sermon or with words from a friend.  We might try to squint our eyes to keep the light of God’s truth out because the darkness of our sin is more comfortable.  Yet as we choose to obey… as we repent and ask God to help us change … as we begin to embrace His way for us… the light doesn’t hurt as much.  We start to experience the blessings of our obedience… the blessings that were hidden when we were covered in darkness.  And God’s light shines in us, just like Psalm 34:5 promises:  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

It takes time to learn to be the light.  It’s not an overnight transformation.  It’s a moment by  moment decision to follow Jesus like John 8:12 encourages us to do:  

John 8:12 AMP

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.

Did you know that Jesus calls us “the light of the world”?

Matthew 5:14-16 AMP

14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [z]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [aa]recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

We have a bright role to play in our fallen society.  We are not called to blend in.  We are called to shine by holding tightly to God’s word.

Philippians 2:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Are you willing to shine brightly for Jesus?  Are you ready to step out of the darkness of sin and embrace the glorious light and freedom that Jesus offers?  It’s so worth it because the Light of Jesus reveals beauty.  Just think about it… You can’t see the beauty of leaves changing colors in the dark of night.  Obstacles in your path are hidden once the sun sets.  Christ’s Light might sting at first, causing you to squint.  Remember to give your spiritual eyes some time to adjust to this new way of life.  Jesus will guide you every step of the way.  Let’s learn to be the light… one day at a time.  

And if you need some inspiration on learning to be the light, then check out the song Learning To Be The Light by Newworldson. 


Have you ever read a story and it just hit home?  Maybe it provided you with hope or a perspective change.  Maybe it inspired you to try something new or different.  Maybe it convicted you about something you needed to change in your life.

I read a story last week that convicted me.  And it wasn’t until after I read it and processed it a bit that I realized God was using this story to convict me about my reaction to my hair cut.  It was God’s living and active word playing out in my life (Hebrews 4:12).  Let me start at the beginning.

While studying the book of Esther, I encountered this story about Haman.  Take a moment to read it.

Esther 5:9-13 New International Version (NIV)

Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home. 

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, 11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” 

My first reaction was “Wow!  Haman has so much to be thankful for and yet he lost all his joy because one man wouldn’t bow down to him.”  It seemed kinda silly to me at first… until the Holy Spirit gently whispered to my soul, “Heather, this is you.  You have so much to be thankful for… you have received so many blessings this past week.  And you are allowing a hair cut to steal your joy.  You have a bad attitude about it and it’s impacting others.”  OUCH!  And the Holy Spirit was so right.  One incident changed my entire perspective, just like one incident changed Haman’s entire perspective.

I had mixed emotions.  I was so sorry for my reaction and behavior.  I was also incredibly thankful because in the midst of my hair mess, God was pursing me.  He was true to His character:  compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Nehemiah 9:17).  He opened my eyes to sin so I could receive His mercy and grace.  I quickly repented letting God know how sorry I was for letting my hair cut get the best of me.

Have you ever overlooked your blessings because you were focused on circumstances that you didn’t ask for?  Or because you couldn’t control the situation?  Or maybe it was because you didn’t get your way?  Isn’t it crazy how we can let one thing, like a hair cut or not getting the respect that we think we deserve, steal our joy?  Change our attitude?  Transform our perspective?  And once you start down that slippery slope of negative thinking, complaining, rage, frustration… it’s hard to stop, isn’t it?  Don’t you just want to let everyone know how you’ve been wronged?  How it should have been?  That’s what Haman did.  He gathered his wife and friends to tell his story.  And that’s what I did too.  I wonder if you can relate…

I’m so thankful that God loves me enough to point out my sins so I can receive His forgiveness.  I wish I could say that after reading Haman’s story, I was cured of my negative thoughts.  But it wasn’t instantaneous.  I’ve had to continue to work through my feelings.  And my perspective change is getting easier and easier, especially since I had a hair intervention this week.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s where you get your hair cut again.  And this hair intervention has completely changed my perspective.  I now look in the mirror and think I look pretty.  The gal who intervened was such a blessing to me.  She listened to my hair concerns.  She added layers, coached me on products that would work with my hair type, and taught me how to work with my bangs and style my new do.  The fact that God would choose to bless me with a hair cut I like… after my bad attitude… just blows my mind.  I don’t deserve it, but His scandalous grace intervened.  And His scandalous grace is available to you too.  Have you noticed how God blesses you in spite of your sin?  He. truly. loves. us. so. much!

I’m a huge Francesca Battistelli fan and her song This Is The Stuff reminds me of Haman… and of me too.  Especially these lyrics:

This is the stuff that gets under my  skin

But I’ve gotta trust you know  exactly what You’re doing

Might not  be what I would choose

But this is  the stuff You use

To break me  of impatience

Conquer my  frustrations

I’ve got a new  appreciation

It’s not the end of  the world

This is the stuff  that drives me crazy

This is the  stuff, someone save me

In the  middle of my little mess

I  forget how big I’m blessed

So let’s resolve that when we are in the midst of our messes, that we won’t forget how big we’re blessed.  Let us put 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 into practice:  Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  And know that when our messes overtake our thankfulness, that God is patiently waiting to be gracious to us and show loving-kindness to us (Isaiah 30:18 AMP).  For God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)… even in the midst of our messes.

Where are you looking?

mountain bike

So, I have to confess that I’m not the best mountain biker in the world.  In fact, this city chic actually thought that mountain biking trails were paved… so I was in for a rude awakening the first time I hit the mountain bike trail because I not only discovered that the trails were NOT paved and you had to ride over roots, rocks and uneven terrain, but I also learned that these trails were quite narrow and one wrong move could lead to falling down the mountain.  YIKES!!!

My hubby gave me some great advice for mountain biking… make sure you look where you want to go because your bike follows your eyes.  Good to know!  I should avoid looking down the mountain where I didn’t want to go and look straight ahead on the trail so I’d be safe.  And thankfully, I did survive… after an endo within the first 30 seconds on the trail.  Like I said, I’m not much of a mountain biker…

My hubby’s advice also applies to other areas of our lives besides mountain biking.  Where we focus our eyes makes a huge difference in our lives.  So my question to you is where are your eyes focused today?  Are they focused on worries, trials, lies, your circumstances?  Or are they focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith?  I know that when my eyes are focused on worries, trials, and lies, my mood and attitude are not the best.  In fact, taking my eyes off Jesus can quickly send me off the mountain and down into a pit of doubt, fear, insecurity, and lots of other negative things.  Can any of you relate?  But when I choose to surrender my worries to Jesus and trust in Him completely, the things of the world become strangely dim and I start to experience peace, hope, and joy.   I know it’s not always easy to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus… and Satan will use whatever distractions he can to get us to turn our eyes away.  But these simple words, whispered in the moment, “I trust you, Jesus,” can help redirect our eyes and rescue us from a potential tumble down the mountain.

The Bible gives us some good reasons to fix our eyes on Jesus…

Hebrews 12:1b-2

…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus showed us how to keep our eyes focused on God… He experienced struggles just like we do… and He spent lots of time in prayer talking to His Father God… just like we can do.  If your eyes are not fixed on Jesus, pray about it.  That can get your gaze going back in the right direction.

2 Corinthians 4:18 encourages us too:  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

How’s that for some encouragement… our circumstances on this earth are temporary… but heaven is eternal.  God is faithful.  His love is constant and unchanging.  We have a future of perfection awaiting us when we invite Jesus into our hearts.  That’s something we can cling to in the midst of our trials… they are  temporary.

So what are your eyes fixed on today?  If you’re on the verge of falling off the mountain, just change your gaze.  Look straight up to Jesus… call on His name…for Hebrews 4:15-16 reminds us “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Call out to Jesus.  He not only understands, but He can help you.  Jesus is waiting to shower you with mercy and grace during your time of need.  Look up to Him instead of focusing on your circumstances… because Psalm 34:5 says “those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.”  Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus so we can be covered in His radiance today.

And here’s a song to the help bring the point home… one of my recent favorites called Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli.  Let the chorus remind you to fix your eyes on Jesus moment by moment.  And let the things of the world grow strangely dim…


Got Some Hurt?

When was the last time someone hurt your feelings?  Or made you REALLY angry?  If I had to guess, I bet each person reading this could think of more than one example for each question.

So what do you do with your hurt and anger?  Let me see if I can guess…  Some of you call your best friend and replay the event detail by detail and then tell it again because you forgot a detail or two.  You vent your frustration and hope to get others on your side.  Some of you confront the person and give them a piece of your mind.  How dare they treat you like this?  They need to know that a boundary was crossed and you won’t tolerate it.  Some of you keep quiet and let it fester behind the scenes… until it festers so long that a root of bitterness grows.  And some of you stop and pray about the situation, asking God to give you His wisdom on how to handle the emotions swirling through your head.  And after you receive God’s answer, you obey… even if it’s uncomfortable because you trust that God knows best and you have confidence that He will empower you to do what He asks.

I think I can fit into each category… and quite honestly, I probably fit into multiple categories with a single incident.  I wonder if you do this too?  You call someone to vent, then let it fester for a bit.  And hopefully, you feel God’s gentle conviction that this is not His plan for you, so you confess your sin, receive His forgiveness, and ask for His help.

I had a situation some time ago that triggered anger in me. I had multiple instances with someone that had piled up over time and I was mad.  What I didn’t realize, until I talked it though with some people, was that I wasn’t just angry… I was hurt too.  Understanding that hurt was linked to my anger was helpful to me.  And God, out of His amazing love for me, provided this Twitter post from Sue Detweiler to show me how to handle my hurt and anger.  I wonder if this will help you too?


Pray For Blessing

How do you treat people who have hurt you?

God’s word tells us to practice forgiveness in practical ways. He tells us to pray for people that have hurt us and to bless them (Luke 6:27-28) You may not feel like they deserve it, but by obeying God’s word and praying for those who have hurt you,  you will find that it changes your heart first. By praying for someone else you stop dwelling on all the toxic thoughts that lead to toxic words that lead to toxic emotions and simply pray for God’s goodness, mercy, love and forgiveness to surround those that have hurt you. Try it and see God bless you.  

Ouch!  That convicted me because to be honest, I didn’t really feel like blessing the person who hurt me.  I was mad.  But I also understood that this would help me change my “toxic thoughts,” so I decided to give it a try.  I looked up the scriptures she recommended and started to pray them over the person who hurt me by plugging in the individual’s name.  I wonder if you need to do the same.  Take a moment and give it a try.  Here are the scriptures:

1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.  

Romans 12:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.  

Luke 6:27-28, 31-33, 35-37 Amplified Bible (AMP)

27 But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred,

28 Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].

31 And as you would like and desire that men would do to you, do exactly so to them.

32 If you [merely] love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even [t]the [very] sinners love their lovers (those who love them).

33 And if you are kind and good and do favors to and benefit those who are kind and good and do favors to and benefit you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you? For even the preeminently sinful do the same.

35 But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.

36 So be merciful (sympathetic, tender, responsive, and compassionate) even as your Father is [all these].

37 Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.

As I was praying these verses, I became even more convicted.  Yep, these scriptures pointed out my OWN sin while I was blessing the person who hurt me.  My attitude was not very pretty.  I wasn’t loving like I should.  I wasn’t treating them like I wanted to be treated.  And I definitely wasn’t being like Jesus, who loves everyone no matter what they do.  God used these verses to change my thinking.  He exposed my own sin in the situation and He encouraged me to be more like Jesus.  And guess what?  Doing this daily transformed my attitude toward this person.  Shortly after I started doing this, God’s did immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) by using this person to bless me in a big way.  I would not have received this incredible blessing if I was still harboring my hurt and anger.

I wonder what blessing is waiting for you if you choose to obey God’s command to bless those who hurt you?  Can you imagine how wonderful it would feel to be set free from the anger and hurt that is weighing you down?  Are you willing to say yes to this invitation to bless those who hurt you?  Then commit to pray these verses daily… and see how God blesses your obedience.

A Dog Named Satan

satan dog

My morning walk turned from peaceful to stressful in a matter of minutes.  I was on the last leg of my journey, thanking God for the black butterfly that fluttered right in front of me when I saw it… the dog sitting up ahead without an owner.  Let me fill you in on a few things.  Number 1:  I am not a fan of dogs.  Number 2:  I’m afraid of loose dogs.  So as you can imagine, fear began to creep in as I contemplated what to do about this loose dog.

I decided to cross the street and hoped that the dog wouldn’t notice me.  But my red shorts were quite bright, and this dog not only noticed me, but decided to trot across the street and join me.  At this point, I break into flight mode.  If only there was a hidden camera around… I’m quite sure what happened next would have ended up on America’s Funniest Home Videos.  The dog starts to chase me at a slow trot.  No barking, no rabid teeth, just trotting behind me.  And I start running and yelling “Ahhh!  Get away from me!  Ahhh! Get away from me!”  while continuously looking behind me to see if it’s working.  Of course, it’s not.   Then, hip, hip, hooray!!  The dog takes a potty break!  A deep sigh of relief pours out of me.  I can peacefully resume my walk now, I thought.

But no, this dog was not finished with me yet!  He trots across the street again and my panic meter escalates.  So I do what anyone else would do in this situation… I turn around and shout James 4:7 at the dog while pointing my finger at him:  “Satan, I resist you.  In the name of Jesus Christ you have to flee from me!”  And at that, the dog sat down and stayed put.  I inwardly celebrated the power of God’s word as a man in the neighborhood invited me to stand behind his fence for a bit.  Let’s just say I was a little embarrassed that he witnessed my craziness, but I was also thankful that someone cared enough to help me.

When I shared this event with my husband, he named the dog “Satan.”  Pretty appropriate name, don’t you agree?  Yet as I pondered this event even more, God opened my eyes to the reality of how this dog could be just like Satan.  Think about it for a minute.  Some lie from Satan fills your mind.  You try to resist the lie by walking across the street because you recognize that it’s a lie.  But the lie just follows you.  It’s not making a big scene or anything.  It just won’t leave your mind.  It starts to  consume your thoughts.  You start to believe it.  It might go away for a moment or a few days, but then it trots right back into your mind.  And finally, you’ve had enough and you say out loud, with a voice of authority, “Satan, I resist you.  In the name of Jesus Christ you have to flee from me!” from James 4:7, and peace settles over you.  A scripture to defeat the lie fills your head.  And Satan has lost his power.

Satan is the father of lies.  Check out this verse that explains Satan’s identity so vividly:

John 8:44 (NET)

You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 

Satan wants nothing more than to fill our minds with his lies so we doubt and disobey God.  We can’t just sit there.  We have to fight back.  We have the power… the sword of the spirit, God’s Word.  Check out these verses that describe our sword of the spirit:

Ephesians 6:17 (NET)

And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

Hebrews 4:12 (NET)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 

We need to study the Bible, memorize scripture and use that scripture to fight back when Satan whispers one of his lies and continues to trot behind us, whispering the lie over and over again.

This verse fits perfectly with this concept of defeating Satan’s lies with God’s truth:

 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.        James 1:21 NLT

God’s Word has the power to save our souls.  God’s Word, when rooted in our hearts, helps us recognize Satan’s lies because his lies go against God’s truth.  Let’s show Satan that his lies don’t stand a chance.  Let’s be proactive and memorize scriptures so we are ready for battle.  And remember, you aren’t fighting alone.  God is fighting on your behalf as these verses describe so beautifully:

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17 

So put on the full armor of God and stand firm as God fights on your behalf.  You’ve got this!  That dog named Satan doesn’t stand a chance.